Bowl eligibility and a second victory in 14 years against in-state rival Kansas State made for a sweet Saturday evening for Kansas University fans.
"Look at K-State all season long. Take away the Texas game, they are just as equal as KU is. Now if you watch this game, why is it a surprise that KU won? Not a surprise," said Brett Neighbor, a 2004 KU graduate from Overland Park.
Neighbor and Dusty Buell, a 2003 KU graduate from Norman, Okla., teased their friend, a K-State fan, on Campanile Hill just as groups of KU students carried the prized set of goal posts toward Potter Lake.
"KU could easily have one loss right now. They lost so many close games," Buell said. "Take away Toledo, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, all of the games KU blew, but this is a rivalry game, totally different story."
The Jayhawks won their sixth game of the season, 39-20 in the Sunflower Showdown. In the midst of successful seasons for both teams for the first time in many years, Memorial Stadium was filled with a record crowd of 51,821 fans.
Before the game, Lawrence was filled with fans from both teams as heavy traffic congested the streets.
"It was definitely the most intense game I've been to this season. It was so much fun," said Emily Davis, a KU freshman from St. Louis.
Some were hoping the excitement would mark a new competitive era in the showdown.
"What I really hope is that it kind of brings it back, gets it going good again because I think that's a lot of fun to have that in-state rivalry," said Brian Buller, a 2004 K-State graduate from Wichita.
After booming the Rock Chalk Chant through the stadium in the final minutes, members of the Jayhawk student section rushed the field and eventually wrestled both goal posts to the ground.
For the first time this season - but the fourth in the last two years - the students carried the pieces of the posts up the hill and dumped them into Potter Lake to complete the ritual. They also recited a less-than-flattering chant directed at K-State.
"It was a big deal. Especially since they beat Texas last week," said Kate Williams, a KU freshman from St. Louis.
While KU fans enjoyed bringing down Wildcat fans after their emotional victory last week, some K-State fans didn't think the victory was worth sacrificing the goal posts.
"I just don't understand. Maybe if it was a ranked team, but we are 7-5, and we're still not that good," said Gabe DeForest, a K-State junior from Hiawatha.
But KU fans were glad to see their team on top again and to have a year's worth of football bragging rights.
"I was excited for the bowl eligibility after this big win," said Steve Fritz, a 1996 KU graduate from Olathe.